DR. WOLFF’S TIME HAS COME: THE DR. PAUL WOLFF & TRITSCHLER STUDIES

Feb 18, 2020  By Ed Schwartzreich
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In 1999, LHSA published a special supplement to Viewfinder (Vol. 32, No.  4) entitled “Dr. Paul Wolff, Pioneer of Leica Photography”.  This supplement  was the brainchild of then-president of LHSA Roy Moss, together with Dr.Cyril T. Blood of the British LHS and this reviewer, and included several articles plus a partial bibliography of Dr. Wolff ’s books. Roy felt that Dr. Wolff was an important Leica pioneer and teacher whose reputation had somehow waned and needed new emphasis, and  both Cyril and  this reviewer had  been amassing bibliographic data  on Dr. Wolff, and shared Roy’s feelings. Other LHSA members who expressed their interest and contributed writings to the supplement included Joe Brown, Will Wright, and Bill Rosauer.

In our introduction, Cyril and this reviewer expressed the opinion (actually more of a hope) that what we were doing in promoting Dr. Wolff ’s photography would lead to something larger. That prophesy appears to have been at least somewhat correct, now twenty years on. A major book on Dr. Wolff has just been published, with an associated exhibition at Leitz Park in late June, 2019. There is at least one Ph.D. thesis being written on Dr. Wolff currently as well.

That book is Dr.  Paul  Wolff  &  Tritschler: Light  and Shadow

– Photographs from 1920 to 1950 [German Edition Paul  Wolff & Tritschler – Licht und Schatten], Kehrer Verlag, Heidelberg, edited by Hans-Michael Koetzle of “Leica – Augen Auf ” fame. It has texts by Sabine Hock, Randy Kaufman, Hans-Michael Koetzle, Kristina Lemke, Günter Osterloh, Tobias Picard, Gerald Piffl, Shun  Uchibayashi, and Thomas Wiegand. It  is a  hardcover book of  ca. 464  pages, with ca. 600 color und 300 Duplex images. The book states as its purpose that it is: “the first comprehensive book on Wolff and Tritschler [that] recapitulates the work and careers of both  photographers against the backdrop of a politically, socially, and artistically turbulent period and thus closes a gap in the discourse on photography in the 1920s to 1940s”. The book is readily available, often at a discount, at the time of this writing.

Disclosure: This reviewer had a discussion  of  books  titles from his own work with Mr. Kaufman regarding his new bibliography here, and a philosophical and historical dialogue with Ms. Lemke about Wolff and the Nazi’s after she made her contribution to the volume, but otherwise no input into this publication.

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